You can't fake the core. The truth that lives there will eventually win out. It's a god we must obey, a force that brings us all inevitably to our knees. It asks, eternally: Will you do it later or Having an accountability partner holds you responsible for sticking to a daily results list that others can see and evaluate. As a personal trainer, I often trained couples who lived together. As accountability partners, they showed up and worked out together to achieve their fitness goals and keep each other on the right track, as opposed to neither showing up if one person didn't feel like working out. Holding yourself and team members accountable is very important for a team's success. One of the biggest questions I get, whether from midlevel managers or regional vice presidents, is, Eric, how do I get my folks to hold themselves accountable? You must hold yourself accountable and also have someone in your organization to hold you accountable. Starting at the top sets a good example for teams being accountable to you and one another. One of the biggest reasons we went through the 2009 financial crisis is because leaders stopped holding themselves accountable. Accountability exists in sports. We call it the scoreboard or record. We need to break away from it all. We need to become free. And we need to stay free. It's not too late. It's never too late.

The Goal of This article Freedom means living your life the way you want. I will keep reminding you of this definition because the goal for this article is to help you achieve that within the next four years--just as I did. My goal is not to convince you that my way of living is correct. I don't expect you to live your life the way I do. Or maybe we were loved deeply and knew it. Perhaps we were cherished and coddled and given every physical thing that we wanted and needed or could ask for. Or maybe we grew up without anything materially but knew that we were important and valuable because that's what we were told and were shown through affection, kindness, encouragement, and compassion. Everybody's story is different. But no matter the story, our relationship with our parents is likely to have had its own kinds of pitfalls one way or the other, and I imagine that most of us wished that we had something other than what we got. Our parents were people, after all, just like we are, and they had good days and bad days and all of their own personal anger and fear mixed in with their ability to love. As children, most of us were probably exposed to some combination of love and heartache--confusing messages of our worth and our worthlessness depending upon our parents' moods and their state of mind on any given day. But at least some of the time, we probably got hugs and kisses from someone: our grandparents, a loving aunt, a nanny, or a family friend, if not our parents themselves. And we probably got some form of punishment as well, and felt every bit of it whether it was physical, emotional, mental, or all of the above. Because of the convoluted nature of the love that most of us received as children, we learned at a young age to feel fear, shame, and guilt. Years later, my friend told me he felt like I blew him off and wasn't interested in being friends anymore. Like attention deficits, these challenges are also closely related to memory, attention, and learning. But a few simple strategies can reduce their impact. In working to manage this cognitive slowdown, I have learned that one of the best things I can do is to conserve my energy so that it's available when I need to make important decisions--and to take my time in doing so. Another successful strategy I use is to limit my involvement in situations and relationships that aren't positive, which helps prevent mental fatigue.

Visual-Spatial Abilities I vividly recall a couple of examples of problems with my visual-spatial abilities that occurred before I'd been diagnosed with MS. One day my mother-in-law offered me tea--and I saw four hands, with four cups, extending toward me, as if she were an Indian goddess. Later the same day, in the emergency room, I felt like I'd been dropped onto the set of a psychedelic film from the 1970s: the doctor's disembodied head appeared perched on my knee; What is wrong with me? I sang in a way I've never sung before. As I sat listening to her story, I saw her face coming into focus for the first time. Sensitive, elegant, alert to every nuance of sound. And next to her, behind her, I saw the animals watching, listening, cautious and brilliantly acute in their awareness, sniffing out safe and unsafe, tracking me closely. The coyotes, I offered. They are still with you. Yes, I know, and I think they always will be, she answered. As we both admitted to seeing the unseeable, something shifted; I knew we had moved to a new level in our work. The coyotes, I asked, What do you know about them? He was quick to accept his guilt in the temptation and willing to abide by any crazy ultimatum I came up with. Honestly, I was the main problem, not him. And I am sure that while I thought I was keeping it together on the outside, others noticed something was wrong with me. We never really conceal our issues, even if we think we do. Through torturous months of this internal battle, I managed to meet my goals at school by getting excellent grades, becoming the president of my local nutrition organization, serving on the board of the honor's society, and keeping myself so busy that I didn't have time to pay attention to what was really going on in my heart and soul.

I felt distant from God and it affected me. Even while I struggled tremendously on the inside, there were still many precious moments during our engagement. One of my best memories was our pre-marital counseling experience. At this time, neither of us had a church home nor a pastor to lead us through traditional counseling. So, Jonathan and I signed up to attend a weekend retreat called, Engaged Encounter. What can you do to feel more empowered? Are you freely choosing what you want to do for others? What obligations would you like to give up? Take a challenging situation in your life and use the steps outlined to talk yourself through it in a new and more powerful way. When someone else is in charge of protecting you, it comes with a price. That price is control. Narcissists often describe their love as protecting you, when in fact it is aimed at organizing your life, directing and commanding you to do things their way, and monitoring your actions. When you were under the control of a narcissist, it was difficult to set boundaries and limits to protect yourself. As your self-esteem and self-confidence grow, you'll feel stronger and more righteous in protecting your emotional and physical self from anyone who would try to take control of your life again. Stop All Personal Interactions We have the capacity to redraw the lines between our powerlessness and our power. We're altered by what hurts us, but with love and consciousness, with intention and forgiveness, we can become whole again. This isn't a spotless life. The whole deal about loving truly and for real and with all you've got has everything to do with letting those we love see us. Silence makes hard things harder than they need to be.

It creates a secret you're too beautiful to keep. Telling has a way of dispersing things. Let fall your notions about perfect couples. It's such an impossible thing to either perceive honestly in others or live up to when others believe it about us. It does nothing but box some people in and shut other people out, and it ultimately makes just about everyone feel like shit. We need the same in organizations. Some organizations have accountability for departments, in terms of revenue they generate. If your company doesn't have an accountability system, ask about developing one, because holding people accountable increases performance and results. Measured Results Having measured results is having clear goals and expectations, what some people call the scoreboard. This can be an important part of a team's success. Make sure you have your team's scoreboard in two key areas. The first area is the financial scoreboard: Did we achieve this goal financially? The second area includes: Did we achieve the goal? How did we work well together? That would be insane. Everyone is different, and everyone wants different things. Most articles ignore that and tell the reader, This is the best way. I don't think there is such a thing. I can't tell you what to do.